Why Did the United States Stop Using Silver to Make Coins?

Ever wanted to know why the United States Mint stopped using silver to make coins? Get up-to-date information and reliable answers to your bullion and precious metals related questions here at ModernCoinMart's Complete Bullion Resource Center.

Approved by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Coinage Act of 1965 came into existence due to a silver and coin shortage in the United States. The Coinage Act of 1965 required all silver to be removed from the production of certain circulating U.S. coins, such as the quarter and dime. Half dollars saw their silver content reduced from 90% down to 40%. Until 1970, silver dollars were also banned. The parameters and consequences of previous Acts, as well as the demands of the time, helped lead to this shortage, but the truth is there simply wasn’t enough silver for the demands of both coin and industry production. 

Today, circulating coins, such as the quarter and dime, still do not contain silver. Of course, U.S. silver bullion coins and certain collectible coins are still struck with fine silver and are available in series like American Silver Eagle, Morgan Silver Dollar, Peace Silver Dollar, and America The Beautiful Quarter.

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